Domestic workers can find life grueling. Photo: iStock
Domestic workers can find life grueling. Photo: iStock

Employers in Hong Kong like to pride themselves on treating maids with dignity and compassion compared to the Middle East. But in a gossip column published on am730 earlier this month, a writer known simply as CK eavesdropped on a conversation about domestic workers at a birthday party.

He reported that one local employer bragged about how “nice” she had been to her new Filipino maid. She also pointed out that her domestic worker was her “seventh or eighth” in the past few years.

“I am her savior,” she said, referring to the maid’s last job in the Middle East, where she worked for a family of 10 and started work at 4am every day.

During the two years the maid worked in the Middle East, she was not allowed to take any holidays. “I have saved her from hell, so she can enjoy a good life in Hong Kong,” the employer told friends.

Yet these are just the basic human rights that all people deserve, CK said in his article. Domestic workers should not be treated as bonded servants, forced to work long hours without days off and  holidays, he pointed out.

“Chinese employers should express their gratitude and be loyal to their domestic workers,” CK wrote. “They should treat their employees well and become better people.”

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